Health A-Z

What are the Different Types of Breast Cancer?

What are the Different Types of Breast Cancer?


According to the World Health Organization, in 2020, there were 2.3 million women diagnosed with breast cancer and 685,000 deaths globally. This makes breast cancer the most prevalent cancer. According to The Official Portal of the UAE Government, 4,500 new cases of cancer are reported in a year. Although most breast cancers affect women who are 50 years or older, younger women can also get breast cancer.

What is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is a condition where the cells in your breasts grow abnormally. There are different types of breast cancer and each depends on the cells affected. Breast cancer can start in different parts of your breast like the ducts, connective tissue, and lobules. Breast cancer can spread to lymph nodes and blood vessels; when this happens, it is said to have metastasized.

Symptoms of Breast Cancer

It is recommended to go for regular screening tests and know how your breasts normally look so you will be aware of any changes and seek medical help. The most common sign of breast cancer is a new mass or lump. It is crucial to understand that not all breast lumps are caused by breast cancer. Other symptoms include;

·       Swelling on part or all of your breast even if you can’t feel a lump

·       Nipple or breast pain

·       Skin dimpling

·       Nipple retraction

·       Unusual nipple discharge

·       Red, flaking, dry, or thickened nipple or breast skin

·       Swollen lymph nodes near the collar bone or under the arm.

Although other conditions can cause these symptoms, it is advisable to have any lumps or other changes in your breasts checked by a healthcare practitioner.

Types of Breast Cancer


There are 2 categories of breast cancer: invasive and non-invasive. Some grow slowly while others are aggressive. Several factors determine how aggressive the tumor becomes, for instance, its size, biological makeup, stage, etc. Aggressive breast cancers are usually inflammatory breast cancer and angiosarcoma of the breast.

Ductal carcinoma in situ, phyllodes and lobular carcinoma in situ tumors tend to grow slowly. Various subtypes of breast cancer like inflammatory breast cancer and triple-negative breast cancer tend to recur even with aggressive treatment. Many factors determine whether and when specific breast cancer will recur including the original size of the tumor, whether it can spread to the lymph nodes and its hormone receptor status.

Invasive Breast Cancer

Did you know that most breast cancers are invasive; this means that cancer has spread to other areas like lymph nodes, nearby breast tissue, or anywhere else in the body.

Invasive breast cancers include;

Invasive Ductal Carcinoma

Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) is the most common type of breast accounting for more than half of all cases. It starts in the milk duct and spreads to other parts of the breast. If left untreated, it can spread further into the body which is why it is necessary to go for regular screening from the best radiologist Dubai centers.

Invasive Lobular Carcinoma

Invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC) is the 2nd most common type of breast cancer. It starts in lobules and spreads into the breast tissue. Like invasive ductal carcinoma, it can spread to other body parts. However, ILC is harder to detect on mammograms and other tests than IDC.

Paget’s Disease of the Breast

Paget’s disease of the breast or Paget’s disease of the nipple is a less common type of breast cancer that affects 1 to 4% of women already diagnosed with another type of breast cancer. Paget’s disease of the nipple grows in the skin of the areola and nipples which creates distinctive tumor cells known as Paget cells.

Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Inflammatory breast cancer can be detected in the lobules or ducts and it spreads faster than other breast cancer. This type of cancer is named after its inflammatory signs (swelling and redness on the surface of the breast). It is often misdiagnosed as a breast infection because of the signs.

Phyllodes Tumors

These are rare and they grow in the connective tissues of the breasts. Phyllodes tumors affect women in their 40s, but it can also develop at any age. You are at a higher risk of developing phyllodes tumors if you have an inherited condition called Li-Fraumeni syndrome.

Angiosarcoma of the Breast

Angiosarcoma of the breast develops in the lining of the blood vessels or lymph. Although it’s rare, it affects those in their 70s. It’s caused by complications from radiation therapy of the breast. It might occur 8 to 10 years after this treatment.

Non-Invasive Breast Cancer

Non-invasive or In Situ breast cancer remain in one area of the breast and does not spread to the surrounding tissue. There are 2 types of non-invasive breast cancer;

Ductal Carcinoma in situ (DCIS)

Ductal carcinoma in situ begins as a lump that develops in the milk duct that carries milk from the glands or lobules to the nipples. Although Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) does not spread to other body parts, it can spread through the ductal wall and into the surrounding breast tissue if no intervention is taken.

Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS)

Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) is not considered cancer; it’s seen as changes in the breast. Your breasts have tiny clusters of lobules that produce milk. Sometimes cells that look like cancer cells might develop in the lobules. Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) remains in the lobules and does not spread. Although it is usually harmless, it increases your risk of developing invasive breast cancer.

Breast Cancer in Men

Most people don’t know that men can develop breast cancer. Cells in almost every part of your body can develop into cancer and spread. Any type of breast cancer that affects women can affect men. Sometimes a single tumor can be caused by a combination of different types and in rare cases, cancer might not form a tumor at all.


Breast cancer is caused by the interaction of your environment and genetic makeup. If you have any concerns, it is crucial to go for screening from healthcare experts like the best radiologist Dubai clinics.

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